ELLIOTT Moore is confident Oxford United’s defence has what it takes to start racking up clean sheets.

The U’s, who host Shrewsbury Town in Sky Bet League One this evening (7.45pm), have stopped opponents scoring just twice in 16 matches in all competitions this season.

Head coach Karl Robinson was critical of the way United let Plymouth Argyle have shots on goal during Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at the Kassam Stadium.

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Moore knows it is an area they must improve, but feels the U’s defence does not need much more than a little fine-tuning.

“We learnt a lot from that game, defending-wise we need to stop those chances,” the 24-year-old said.

“It’s just minor things that we need to tweak.

“As a collective we’ve been quite good, there’s not really any major problems.

“It’s just the little mistakes we need to cut out.

“It’ll come eventually, the confidence is there and it’ll get better.”

It was a similar story at the start of last season, when United kept just one clean sheet in their first 19 matches before tightening up defensively.

Moore, Sam Long and Anthony Forde were part of that squad, while – on the left side of defence – Jordan Thorniley, Luke McNally and Steve Seddon are new faces.

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The centre back said: “We’ve played a lot of different back fours and we’ve all done very well.

“We’re all settled and hopefully we can carry on and build up those clean sheets.”

One area where United have improved is set-pieces.

They have not conceded from a corner or free-kick since shipping five in defeats to Cambridge United on August 31 and AFC Wimbledon four days later.

The pressing issue is at the other end, with the U’s yet to score from a set-piece this season after bagging 20 goals that way in 2020/21.

Moore said: “It’s something that we’ve worked on, but we’re also working on it on an attacking front because that’s not been as good as it has been in previous years.

“With the set-pieces it has stuck, so hopefully it stays like that.”

Those factors have stopped United building sustained momentum so far this season, with both sets of back-to-back victories followed by a pair of defeats.

The U’s have controlled several games without possessing the clincal edge to finish teams off, but Moore senses a change could be around the corner.

He said: “We’re very confident, we can see how close we are to going on a run and getting the results we want.

“It’s just little things we need to tweak.

“The confidence is still high going into the next few games.

“We dominate games quite a lot and we have the chances to put other teams to bed.

“We haven’t been doing that and we’ve been getting sloppy defensively.

“That’s something we need to tighten up.”